Weekend of fun with Adventure Addictions Festival

From watching films to scaling rocks and riding bikes, Adventure Addictions Festival had just about everything.

AXEL MERCKX (front) of Kelowna points to a fan with Peachland’s Evan Guthrie close behind him at the start of the Test for Humanity mountain bike race in Summerland Sunday. Merckx and partner Todd Melnyk of Kelowna were third overall in the team competition and second in their division. Guthrie won the solo portion of the race. Proceeds go to Canadian Humanitarian for its work in Ethiopia.

AXEL MERCKX (front) of Kelowna points to a fan with Peachland’s Evan Guthrie close behind him at the start of the Test for Humanity mountain bike race in Summerland Sunday. Merckx and partner Todd Melnyk of Kelowna were third overall in the team competition and second in their division. Guthrie won the solo portion of the race. Proceeds go to Canadian Humanitarian for its work in Ethiopia.

From watching films to scaling rocks and riding bikes, Adventure Addictions Festival had just about everything.

Lyndie Hill, of Hoodoo Adventures who helped organize the weekend, said it was good.  The rock climbing competition at Skaha Bluffs, which had 50 participants last year, saw an increase by 10. Nearly 100 flocked to Skaha Lake Park for movies, while Jen Olsyn, one of six full mountain guides in Canada, shared her stories with an audience.

Rock climbers enjoyed the weekend so much they talked about training all year to be ready for the next festival. The same point system was kept and will continue to be used as participants want to see how they have done. Along with the competitions, there were three clinics, including an advanced section, which was full.

Test of Humanity, a cycling fundraiser  event attracted 260 participants. So far $25,000 has been raised for Canadian Humanity to go to Ethiopia. Donations will be collected until the end of next week.

“It was a wonderful event,” said Test of Humanity organizer Shei Seaton. “I think it’s such a great family event. We sold out in two of our events.”

She said response was very positive. She also monitored Twitter and Facebook.

“Some people just saying how much they enjoyed the day,” said Seaton. “I think a lot of people just say it’s just such a fun day. The kids event is always a huge success. Some of them are amazing doing six or seven laps on the one-kilometre course with their parents following behind.”

Bridget Schmidt was among the Test of Humanity participants and said she had a blast. “The one hour test ride that I was on was just a fun ride to get out there and enjoy, be with people that enjoy doing the same thing along with you,” she said. “I wouldn’t call the test a true race. It’s a really family-oriented-type day. Those that are into like really racing die-hards, they are fun to watch. It’s in such a great environment.”

Seaton also said the main event was exciting because they had exciting finishes.

“It was very close between Evan Guthrie (Peachland) and Kelly Servinski (Squamish), who placed second,” she said. “They were neck-and-neck for most of the race. Evan just pulled ahead at the end. The Bike Barn team, they were neck-and-neck with Evan and they were a team and Evan was managing to hold his own the whole way around. They finished side-by-side.”

Seaton said they couldn’t have done the event without the Bike Barn, who are phenomenal supporters.

Andrew Drouin of the Penticton and Area Cycling Association said the weekend was fantastic. He said the combination of events to create the festival was excellent.

Hill said organizers will meet in October and begin planning for next year, and the plan is to add paddling.

“We want to give everything that Penticton has to offer,” said Hill, adding that the name was submitted inva campaign.